B Noble announces Partership with Curaleaf
Curaleaf recently announced the partnership with B NOBLE. Speaking via Q&A with the founder of B NOBLE Bernard Noble and Curaleaf’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Raheem Uqdah to learn more about this cannabis culture-changing partnership.
I spoke to Curaleaf’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Raheem Uqdah regarding the dynamics of the partnership with B NOBLE, the New York expansion, and also how Black women can ethically enter the cannabis industry.
Curaleaf is known as a leading international cannabis provider. we’re well-versed in not just the present-day cannabis industry, but also the history and impact of the plant socially. The War on Drugs was racially-motivated and negatively impacted African American communities around the nation. We’re committed to righting the wrongs of cannabis prohibition and inequities by prioritizing cannabis equity through our Rooted in Good program
As part of our initiative to do business with 420 diverse businesses by 2025, we launched our partnership with the B NOBLE brand in July. Founded by visual artist, filmmaker, and hip-hop pioneer, Fab 5 Freddy, and Bernard Noble, who spent seven years in prison on a 13-year sentence for the equivalent of two joints, this partnership is Curaleaf’s first large-scale brand venture and product partnership in alignment with our dedicated social equity work.
The B NOBLE product is available at Curaleaf locations in ten states and consists of two pre-rolls (two grams), which was the same amount of cannabis that Bernard was sentenced for. B NOBLE recently expanded to our New York stores with a whole product. When you purchase a B NOBLE product at a Curaleaf store, a portion of proceeds goes towards local organizations working to support individuals incarcerated because of cannabis. We’re so excited to make a real, on-the-ground impact in communities, while also calling attention to Bernard’s sentence and what it represents.
The B NOBLE partnership recently expanded to New York. Why did you select that market?
Initially, B NOBLE launched in July in two markets. We’ve seen great success in those markets, which encouraged us to continue expansion across the nation.
This specific expansion is one of the first partnerships of its kind in New York, coming just a month after the New York Cannabis Control Board approved the whole flower as part of its medical marijuana program In a progressive market like New York, we wanted to be sure our offerings were present in the state.
By launching the whole flower in NY in collaboration with B Noble it allowed us to launch that nation’s first-ever social equity product in the medical market. Something that we felt was necessary as we advocate for equal opportunities in the cannabis industry for those communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.
What changes would you like to see in the cannabis community in regards to black and brown people?
It’s no secret that the cannabis industry needs to be diversified from the top down. One of our major pillars of Rooted in Good is racial equity. Through programs and partnerships like B NOBLE, we are intentionally doing the work to help diversify the industry, while also recognizing and putting an end to bias and stigma. Ideally, we’d love to see that happen both within C-Suite and Executive leadership in the industry, as well as within dispensary and ancillary business owners.
Our Vice President, Khadijah Tribble, is one of the only black woman executives in the cannabis industry. That’s unacceptable in 2021.
We’ve already accomplished more than a third of our 420x25 goal. We’ve partnered with black cannabis businesses across the nation, from dispensaries to growers, product suppliers, and non-plant touching businesses, we’re doing the work to make the industry more equitable.
How has the stigma been detrimental to the financial growth of POCS in the cannabis industry?
The War on Drugs disproportionately incarcerated and impacted thousands of African Americans and people of color, which contributed to the stigma that has existed in the community for decades. People of color are hesitant about becoming involved with the legal cannabis industry because of the historical trauma and damage that was caused during the War on Drugs. We must continue to do the work to dispel stigma so that equity, and in turn, financial gain, in cannabis amongst POC communities can be achieved.
How can more black women get involved in cannabis ethically? What do you feel is the reason most individuals are unsure about the use of cannabis for health purposes?
I would encourage everyone to take some time to educate themselves on the current state of medical and adult use of cannabis. There is a vibrant industry and wealth of possibilities for people to act on if they are willing to take the risk to dive in now. Ultimately, we are all ambassadors to this plant and this industry. I am constantly educating family and friends on the benefits and misunderstandings they may have about cannabis. We all were fed the same propaganda and we will have to unlearn it one conversation at a time. Cannabis may not be right for everyone, but knowing what is available could save folks from a sentence of chronic pain or opiate use.
Speaking to the Founder of B NOBLE Bernard Noble, he shared with me how changes within the judicial system will help in removing the stigma around cannabis and also how his journey with cannabis came full circle.
Do you feel that changes within the judicial system will play a part in removing the stigma?
Changes in the judicial system continue to give individuals confidence in the new cannabis industry. As local and state laws continue to change, while stigma still exists, it is becoming less prominent.
The judicial system has so much power in the perception and lives of so many. It’s the reason that I received a 13-year sentence behind bars for two grams of cannabis, which can be purchased legally in many places today.
As local and state laws continue to be changed for the better, I do believe that attitudes will continue to shift, and stigma will continue its road to becoming dispelled.
How does it feel to go from being incarcerated on cannabis charges to launching your brand and product partnership with Curaleaf?
It’s truly a full-circle moment, sometimes I still can’t believe it. I’m thrilled to have my story highlighted through B NOBLE, and work with a company with the size and impact that Curaleaf has. What I’m most excited about is the fact that the brand is actively working, through each purchase, to support individuals with similar backgrounds as me, but they weren’t as lucky as I was.
Learn more about how Curaleaf, B NOBLE, and its founder Bernard Noble are working hard to change the stigma of Cannabis.
B NOBLE is a for-profit, cause-based cannabis brand. Founded by Fab 5 Freddy [Yo! MTV Raps, Grass is Greener], B NOBLE aims to help liberate Americans that are and have been incarcerated for non-violent cannabis-related charges. Bernard Noble was sentenced to 13 years of hard labor for carrying less than two joints worth of cannabis and was released after spending seven years behind bars. It is a landmark case that demonstrates the impact of severe U.S. laws on cannabis, and Bernard’s story represents one of the 600,000 people each year who are arrested for cannabis possession and suffer collateral consequences as a result of the War on Drugs.
For more information, please visit www.B-NOBLE.com
About Curaleaf Holdings
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) (“Curaleaf”) is a leading international provider of consumer products in cannabis with a mission to improve lives by providing clarity around cannabis and confidence around consumption. As a high-growth cannabis company known for quality, expertise, and reliability, the Company and its brands, including Curaleaf and Select, provide industry-leading service, product selection, and accessibility across the medical and adult-use markets. In the United States, Curaleaf currently operates in 23 states with 117 dispensaries, 25 cultivation sites, and employs over 5,200 team members. Curaleaf International is the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in Europe with a unique supply and distribution network throughout the European market, bringing together pioneering science and research with cutting-edge cultivation, extraction, and production. Curaleaf is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol CURA and trades on the OTCQX market under the symbol CURLF. For more information, please visit https://ir.curaleaf.com.